Despite Chris Christie giving some love to New Hampshire this week, he swears he doesn't know yet if he's running for president. And if Christie is not telling the truth—which he swears he is—he's certainly not going to break the news to Matt Lauer.
In a Today show interview with Christie that aired Thursday, Lauer didn't have any more success nailing down the New Jersey governor's presidential plans than the average pro-Christie voter. But Christie isn't fazed by the recent announcements of three Republican GOP candidates—or his not-so-great recent polling numbers.
"I've been the front-runner before: It's the place where the bull's-eye's on your back and everybody's shooting at you," Christie said. "I'm fine with exactly where I am right now because I haven't changed—because all that other stuff is artificial until the game really begins, and the game hasn't even come close to beginning."
Christie acknowledged that the "incredible coverage" the George Washington Bridge scandal received from the press affected his popularity, but said he's "far, far from finished with my career, so you have the chance to go back up again."
All three declared Republican candidates so far come from the U.S. Senate, but Christie doubted their success in the race, predicting that the next president will be a governor.
"I believe that our party and our country need someone who's actually run something," Christie said. "And while I have great respect for a number of those folks, I don't believe that we've done well with the experiment of a one-term U.S. senator being president of the United States."
He said neither Jeb Bush's nor Hillary Clinton's success is guaranteed this early in the election cycle. After Lauer called Clinton a "foregone conclusion" for the Democratic nomination, Christie disagreed.
"She was a foregone conclusion in 2007, too, Matt. So was Rudy Giuliani a foregone conclusion in 2007," Christie said. "Mrs. Clinton's going to have to perform, she's going to have to earn the nomination. Nobody is handed these things."
"Nobody" includes Christie. If he decides to run—he's making the decision along with his wife and children over the next couple months—he's going to do it "honestly" and with enthusiasm.
"I'm going to go at it as hard as I possibly can and try to win every day," Christie said.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.